The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Hot Springs Metro Partnership on Wednesday annnounced the hiring of Gary Troutman as the new president and CEO of both organizations, effective Sept. 18.
At the beginning of last week, a major meeting had been scheduled for public and private interests concerned about the deterioration of the 480-room, nearly 400,000-SF building. Within a couple of days, all of that had been scratched.
Cole McCaskill is a Hot Springs native who recently stepped into the newly created position of downtown development director. His job is to manage the Hot Springs Metro Partnership’s Strategic Plan for Downtown Development, which grew out of the February fire that destroyed the historic Majestic Hotel.
The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Hot Springs Metro Partnership recognized after the Majestic Hotel fire that they should embrace the adage to "never let a crisis go to waste," commissioning the Downtown Game Plan Task Force to study all aspects of downtown development.
The February fire that destroyed the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs has focused concerns on two troubling issues facing the resort city’s historic downtown: the fire danger posed by other largely vacant properties and the failure of building owners to maintain their properties.
The 2010 census showed the Hot Springs Metro Area with 8,000 more people than 2000, a 9-percent increase. Employment and sales tax collections showed the Spa City and five-county area returning to pre-recession figures by the end of 2011.
It’s a vibrant and strong business and industry sector for which residents are thankful for and vacationers don’t always notice. Together, the five counties that make up the Greater Hot Springs region create one of the most diverse economies in Arkansas.